I have a read almost all Amy Harmon’s books and found myself touched and moved not just by her books but by her story telling ability too. She is a remarkable, deep story teller with an incredible way with words. Yesterday I started reading Running Barefoot, which was Amy’s debut novel back in 2012 and I felt compelled to tell you all about now, having just finished reading it minutes ago.
While reading this novel, I was reminded of a blog post I’d read recently from Gina, titled Show, don’t tell and really that is exactly the kind of writing you can expect from Amy. Rich and descriptive, with a lot of showing and less telling, a stirring of emotions and thought provoking. Her descriptions are so pure, so earnest, so beautiful, I could see the story, not just read the story. I could feel the emotion, I could touch and taste the landscapes.
When Josie Jensen, an awkward 13-year-old musical prodigy, crashes headlong into new kid Samuel Yazzie, an 18-year-old Navajo boy full of anger and confusion, an unlikely friendship blooms. Josie teaches Samuel about words, music, and friendship, and along the way finds a kindred spirit. Upon graduation, Samuel abandons the sleepy, small town in search of a future and a life, leaving his young mentor behind. Many years go by, and Samuel returns to find his old friend in need of the very things she offered him years before. Their roles reversed, Samuel teaches Josie about life, love, and letting go.
Deeply romantic and poignant, ‘Running Barefoot’ is the story of a small town girl and a Native American boy, the ties that bind us to our homes and families, and the love that gives us wings.
This story featured discussions between Samuel and Josie about some of my favorite things, like one of my most favorite pieces of music ever… Beethoven’s 9th which has the power to move me and touch me in so many ways.
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And the debates between these two over some of the greatest and my most favorite classic literature like Wuthering Heights, Jane Eyre by the Bronte sisters and Othello by Shakespeare gave me fresh perspectives and thoughts on some of my favorite classics.
I also loved how their friendship wove around their faith and religions…. Josie being Mormon and chaste and pure, being the base note (you’ll need to read the book to understand but their discussions wove around how music, religio faith and family were all some how related) and deeply religious and Samuel being part Navajo and sharing their legends and traditions with Josie.
While the book description states that it is for a teen and young adult audience, I do believe a lot of the depth of the story would be lost on younger readers. I found myself profoundly moved and touched by this story. There was so much beauty in the words that at times, I would catch myself reading with tears rolling down my cheeks.
This is a beautiful book about friendship, love, family, duty, grief, loss and triumph. A story about walking in beauty and about finding your way when you’re lost.
I gave this book a sold 5 star rating and would encourage everyone to read it.
You can buy your Kindle Edition here: